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Red Sox to call up Trevor Kelley, per report

The sidearmer has had a big year in Pawtucket

Trevor Kelley
Kelly O’Connor;

As we wait for a potential move from outside the organization to help the disastrous Red Sox bullpen, they will shuffle things around a little bit as they return to North America after their London series against the Yankees. Earlier on Monday, Chris Cotillo had reported that Mike Shawaryn was going to be optioned back down to Pawtucket, though the corresponding move had not been announced. Cotillo speculated that Heath Hembree could be ready for activation.

Perhaps Hembree may still be activated and there is another move coming, but there is a report of a different righty joining the Red Sox bullpen. Alex Speier reported Monday afternoon that the team was prepared to call up right-handed sidearmer Trevor Kelley from Pawtucket.

Kelley is a really interesting guy to be added to this bullpen, though this isn’t the same as saying he is going to be the major help they are looking for. He has had a fantastic season in Pawtucket, at least in terms of results. Over 28 appearances and 37 23 innings, he has pitched to a 0.96 ERA with a 3.69 FIP and a 2.83 DRA. He pitches from a very unorthodox angle as an extreme sidearmer, and those kind of anomalies can make peripheral numbers less reliable. It’s similar to knuckleballers. Kelley doesn’t get a ton of swings and misses and allows a bunch of fly balls, but in Triple-A he has proven very difficult to square up. He’s allowed just two homers this year, which is especially notable since that level is using the juiced MLB balls this season. It’s also worth noting he has shown extreme reverse splits this year and has only been better against righties than lefties once in his professional career.

What isn’t clear as of this writing is how the Red Sox are going to make room on the 40-man roster for Kelley. It’s possible they could transfer Tzu-Wei Lin to the 60-day injured list, but that would be a strange move with him already rehabbing and apparently being close to return. Steve Pearce also suffered a setback over the weekend, though there is no indication as of now that it is serious enough that they’d transfer him to the 60-day injured list. More likely in my estimation is that they designate someone like Joey Curletta, Tyler Thornburg, Ryan Weber or Josh Smith for assignment. We’ll keep you updates as we learn more.